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Cutting down a concrete filled basketball backboard pole

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  • Cutting down a concrete filled basketball backboard pole

    Back in March of 1988 I was in charge of the team that designed the P-100 paint robot. Dave was my boss. In the following picture I am on the left and Dave is on the right.

    1. Dave and I
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    Last week Dave called me for help removing the 4” square concrete-filled pole that used to support the basketball backboard, in preparation for moving. He had an old Craftsman 4-1/2” angle grinder but it could only accommodate the cupped (type 27) grinding wheels and cut-off wheels, not the straight ones. He tried to purchase a cupped cut-off wheel at the hardware store but they only had the straight ones. Eventually he was able to cut off the top 6’ of the pole using a Sawzall with blade that had carbide grit and another blade that was carbide tipped. Below is a picture of the pole that remained after Dave cut off the top with the Sawzall.

    2. Pole
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    Below is a picture of the cut that Dave made with the Sawzall.

    3. Dave's cut
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    Unfortunately, it was taking Dave too long and he had a whole list of things to get done before the moving van came in four days, so I came over to help him to remove the remaining pole. The pole was on a slight hill as shown below.

    4. Pole on slight hill
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    I used a chisel to cut into the frozen ground, so that the cut would be below ground and level. I used a 6” abrasive cut off wheel on my Metabo grinder. I cut the square tube off about ¾” above the bottom of the hole that I chiseled out from the frozen ground. I hit the pole at shoulder level with a sledge hammer and the concrete in the pole broke off about ¾’ below my cut in the tube. I used my hammer drill with a chisel to level off the concrete in the tube.

    5. Leveling off concrete
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    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
    Lincoln LE 31 MP
    Lincoln 210 MP
    Clausing/Colchester 15" Lathe
    16" DoAll Saw
    15" Drill Press
    7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
    20 Ton Arbor Press
    Bridgeport

  • #2
    Next I used a 6” grinding wheel on my Metabo grinder to cut off the tube flush with the concrete.

    6. Cutoff rectangular tube
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    The next day was garbage pick-up, so Dave wanted to put the scrap metal out for pick-up. Unfortunately, in Dave’s town they don’t take concrete, so I cut both 6’ tubes the long-way on two sides as shown below to remove the concrete. The whole job took 1-1/2 of the Metabo slicer plus cut-off wheels

    7. Slicing the tube long-ways
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    Next I supported the tube on one end and smacked it at 6” intervals with the sledge hammer to break up the concrete. As you can see it broke into convenient little blocks.

    8. Broke up concrete
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    This was one of the very few jobs that took less time than I estimated. The entire job including putting tools into and out of my car and driving the 10 minutes to and from Dave’s house was less than two hours.

    While I was at it, I did make a washer for Dave’s grinder that would allow him to use the straight cut off wheels on his grinder in the future.

    9. Spacer for Dave's grinder
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    10. Spacer installed on Dave's grinder
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    -Don
    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
    Lincoln LE 31 MP
    Lincoln 210 MP
    Clausing/Colchester 15" Lathe
    16" DoAll Saw
    15" Drill Press
    7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
    20 Ton Arbor Press
    Bridgeport

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Don52 View Post
      ...used a chisel to cut into the frozen ground....
      Yeah, I'm out.

      Comment


      • #4
        I don’t understand the time line here. Hours? These jobs are usually measured in beers. That looks to be about.....4 beers.....ish.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ryanjones2150 View Post
          I don’t understand the time line here. Hours? These jobs are usually measured in beers. That looks to be about.....4 beers.....ish.
          LOL

          -Don
          Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
          Miller Dynasty 200DX
          Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
          Lincoln LE 31 MP
          Lincoln 210 MP
          Clausing/Colchester 15" Lathe
          16" DoAll Saw
          15" Drill Press
          7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
          20 Ton Arbor Press
          Bridgeport

          Comment


          • #6
            4 beers? Slow down speedy! That’s a 6 pack at least. Power tools are one thing, but swinging a sledge hammer is a whole different level!

            Comment


            • #7
              That is a fair point, sir! I didn’t consider the physical exertion aspect. Now, also consider the time of year. Had this job occurred in the summer time, easily double the cost, so 12ish beers in hot weather, 6ish in cold.....a man must properly hydrate.

              Comment


              • #8
                Quite a messy work

                Comment


                • #9
                  Lucky not a stick or 2 of rebar in it
                  Bob Wright

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